The Distinct SEO Web Marketing Blog

Discuss the latest topics on web marketing, SEO, branding, and organizational development.

The Importance of Consumer Reviews for your Business

A common misconception of ‘social media’ is that it only takes place on ‘social media’ websites like Facebook or Twitter. Just as social bookmarking websites (Digg, Reddit, Newsvine, etc.) are important components of a holistic social media strategy, so to are consumer driven comments.

The broad ‘social media’ sphere includes other tactics that includes the vastly important customer review. read more…

How Twitter Could Have Helped Bin Laden Escape

Social media played a major role last night, but it could have been even bigger.

Firstly, yet again, major news was broken not by major media networks, but rather by an insider, a source close to, of all people, George Bush.
urbahan twitter
Keith Urbahn, the former chief of staff for Donald Rumsfeld and the former U.S. defence secretary under President George W. Bush, leaked the news. Major news outlets picked it up and cited him as a ‘reputable source’ without actually naming him. From careless tweeting by a former defence secretary to early reporting, Twitter has demonstrated a powerful change in the way we receive and push information.

Not only was the death reported early by a nobody, Bin Ladin himself could have escaped capture by employing targeted Twitter alerts. read more…

Brand Control – Removing Your Name and Info from the Web

As a web marketer I’m aware of all the search parameters, and some insider ones too, used to find info on the web. When it comes to individuals, groups, or brands, I can find out just about anything I want.

Little do people know (or maybe we do?) the EXTENT the digital age has turned privacy upside down. It’s impossible to hide.

Everyone’s done it: Googled your name. But what you see on the surface may not be the only story. Take for example the latest work we did for an individual trying to erase his digital footprint online. Easier said than done, but we managed to take care of most of the ‘exposure’. Here’s how. read more…

How to Protect Yourself From Content Theft

Matt Cutts, Google search quality control dude, posted this answer on Youtube to a question regarding stolen content (I won’t be discussing stolen images in this article).


We’ve all faced this issue, (or at least, anybody who’s written something of value has), where you’ve written an article and someone rips it off. What can you do? Send a strongly worded email? File a DMCA report? That’s probably not your best bet. read more…

Canadian Election to See Mass Social Media Use

With an election call around the corner for May, Canadians are going to be inundated with a first–the use of social media by candidates vying for parliament seats.

In the span of 2 years the rise of social media tools, most notably Facebook and Twitter, make them ideal platforms to engage voters effective.

The use of these tools, however, must be guided with a poignant strategy. read more…

Google Panda Update Spanks Content Farms

The latest round of updates from Google–dubbed Panda–leaves content farms at the short end of the stick.

Some context. Google adjusts their ranking algorithms daily. Sometimes they make larger tweaks that tend to catch the attention of SEOs (and those who track Google changes.)

There was a time when Google adjusted bi-annually and it REALLY changed the search results. Then they moved to a quarterly frequency, and then they began to churn out regular updates more efficiently that we rarely noticed.

Many have noticed the effects of Panda. read more…

Huffington Post is the New Version of Content Farms

So you wrote a fantastic article, or better yet, a witty Tweet.

You don’t receive exposure on your own might, but the newly anointed news juggernaut Huffington Post picks it up, puts your tweet in its own unique page, wraps HuffPo ads around it, and calls it their own (they probably give you attribution credit).

This is an issue because Huffington Post routinely ranks for major news stories and trending topics in EVERYTHING. Yet, their own unique content is thin.

Why does Google allow them to dominate for what is essentially duplicate/stolen content? read more…

How Fast Does Google Index my Website?

How about 30 seconds?

It’s an odd question I see every once in a while: “how long does it take Google to index/find my website/new pages?”

Some people will believe you can ‘submit’ your website to the search engines, others will even go to great lengths to ensure their new website is found so they buy a service to address the need.

You can submit your website to the search engines, but that’s a bit backwards. (There was a time many years ago when submission was beneficial to get the ball rolling.)

Today, things have changed. It takes Google a very, very, very short time to find your content and put it in the search results–to the tune of 30 seconds. read more…

Don’t Buy Links to pass PageRank

It’s a simple Google TOS rule: don’t buy links for the sake of manipulating search engine rankings. A few big players are getting caught (JC Penny, Forbes, etc.) Below are some key items for you to read from Google that will help identify what’s ‘illegal link buying’.

read more…

JC Penny Caught in Link Buying Scheme

The only sustainable solution to lasting market presence online is through the careful development of value added content directed to your target market.

If you had the chance, would you manipulate the search engines to get top placements for everything in your store during the Christmas rush knowing you’d lose all of your rankings 2 months later? Most of us know how to follow Google rules since at this point in time Google is responsible for sending the bulk of consume traffic (be it paid or organic).

JC Penny was caught link buying, and it wasn’t subtle. It seems someone (maybe a competitor) asked the NY Times to do a piece on how JC Penny was literally manipulating the search engines to get a #1 rank for everything ranging from bed supplies to dresses.

What’s disturbing is a) how easy it was to track down the manipulation (just use Yahoo!’s Site Explorer), and b) how long it took Google to figure it out. read more…

Colonial Groupon Commits Advertising Suicide

Check it out before they pull it off the ‘air’


In a world where group social coupon companies are a dime a dozen you can’t afford to lose market share, even if you’re the biggest.

Someone at Groupon just lost their job and the company lost millions, perhaps billions, over their flippant attitude towards an oppressed people group. Disrespect does not even begin to describe the ad. It’s borderline racism at worse and an strong indicator of Groupon’s colonial corporate culture at best.

Your thoughts? read more…

Death of Press Releases for Traditional and Online Media

A blog post fromt is simply reiterating what people in the traditional media industry already know: the press release is going the way of the dino.

There was even a time, albeit brief, when press releases had their hay-day online. For 250 bucks you could get your news story published online on all the major search engine news rolls. During that time (6 years ago maybe?) you would actually get a link from your news releases, and those links were found on news sites (pretty important websites). That meant increased ranking for your website.

So hack SEOs clamoured to release pressers, of course, 95% didn’t have 250 bucks to spend on a legit release, and fewer still wrote a presser for–well–the press. read more…